The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Senate amends bylaws

The 49th session of Student Senate got down to business Monday by amending Finance Commission bylaws on regulations for organized activity funding, following a lengthy debate.

After questions were raised about the funding of The Flip Side during the 48th session members of the Finance Commission drafted legislation to amend the bylaws to specifically spell out which organizations could be approved for funding through student segregated fees.

The bill sparked a lengthy debate among the new Senate, with most questions focusing on the addition of a line in the bylaws stating that no organized activity could have ideological, religious or political biases.

Senator Andrew Werthmann proposed an amendment to change the wording to state that no organization whose primary purpose is ideological, religious or political could receive funding.

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Senator Nomi Nazeer said he was concerned about the ambiguity of the new language.

“It hints that the (organization’s) second or third purpose could be totally biased,” he said.

Finance Director Matt Wisnefske said any future Finance Commission that refused funding to an unbiased organization because it dealt with biased topics, such as the Forum bringing in liberal and conservative speakers would be “ballsy.”

Throughout the debate, a number of seasoned senators raised concerns about the number of informational questions that were being asked in the debate.

“Every senator here was given the ability to go through the process with the bill and to actually read through it and actually address these issues at the (informational) meeting,” Nazeer said. “These issues should have been addressed and should have been brought to the floor prior (to the meeting) to make things more effective and more efficient, which is better for Senate on the whole.”

The amendment required a majority vote to pass, and failed by a narrow vote of 13-14-1.

Senate passed the bill with a vote of 25-0-2.

Throughout the debate about the bill concerning organized activity funding, about 10 representatives from Health Services sat in the gallery and waited for the presentation of a resolution concerning their office.

The resolution asked for the creation of a workgroup to research relocating Health Services.

After members waited for nearly two hours to be on hand when the resolution was discussed, it passed by a voice vote in less than five minutes with little debate.

“We were just here in case they had questions,” said Kimberly Barrett, associate vice chancellor of Student Development and Diversity.

Senate also briefly debated a resolution recommending that Student Senate elections be shortened from four days to three days. The resolution passed with a voice vote.

“I think that this is a very good idea. The creation of a four-day election was in the hopes of getting more students at a different area of the campus to vote,” Senator Avril Flatten said. “But the numbers haven’t increased at all in three or four years.”

After the meeting, President-elect Aaron Olson said he was pleased to see strong debate at Monday’s meeting.

“I’ve seen growth in a week already,” he said, “and I’m super excited.”

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Senate amends bylaws